About Ski Patrol 

Question: How can I get free lift passes at Pinehurst after the lift is installed?

Answer: Join the Pinehurst Ski Patrol!

That's right! We're looking for dedicated snow sports enthusiasts who have a desire to help others. Ski Patrollers are a crucial part of maintaining a safe environment at the hill. If you are interested in becoming a Ski Patroller at Pinehurst, you will need to complete an Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course. One will be starting in Cornell in May of 2016, and this will most likely be the only locally-held OEC course before the hill opens next winter!

Fill out an online application here, or read the FAQ below!

What is a ski patrol and what do patrollers do?

Ski Patrollers are an extremely diverse collection of volunteers who share a common love of the outdoors, snowsports, and helping others in need. Patrollers range from doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, to firemen, teachers, lawyers, engineers, programmers, accountants, builders, and business people of all stripes. All are brought together by a willingness to help the public spend time on the snow in a safe manner. Ideal patrollers work hard, play hard, are outgoing, friendly, and work well as a team.

Basically, patroller responsibilities include preventing accidents by marking obstacles, safety education by enforcing the skier’s responsibility code and helping injured skiers with prompt transportation and skilled emergency care.

What is the National Ski Patrol?

The National Ski Patrol is an international, federally chartered, non-profit organization of more than 28,500 volunteers and professionals working for local ski areas to make skiing safe and enjoyable for all. NSP develops training criteria for non-medical roles, including toboggan handling, avalanche rescue, and mountain host programs. NSP educates members through nationally funded education materials and programs, division newsletters, and local clinics. Through its divisions, NSP conducts training events to supplement those provided by local ski areas. This cooperative effort ensures that members are serving the needs of area management while staying in tune with a nationally standardized system. The national office is located in Lakewood, Colorado and is staffed with full-time employees to handle administrative duties.

How much do patrollers get paid?

Patrollers at Pinehurst are all volunteers and are not paid. You are more likely to see paid patrollers at large destination resorts, many of which also have volunteer patrollers.

As a Pinehurst Patroller, can I patrol at other ski areas?

Each patrol has its own guest patroller policy. As a general rule, a patroller is registered to a particular ski area and performs all the patrol duties for that ski area. There are patrols who encourage visiting patrollers, but others are more restrictive. Pinehurst encourages others patrollers to visit!

How often do patrollers patrol?

After your candidate year, you will be asked to choose from one of two schedule options.

Weeknights – patrolling one afternoon or night each week from 3 pm to 9 pm plus five weekend shifts.

Weekend Only – patrolling ten weekend shifts.

I do not work in the healthcare industry. Can I still become a patroller?

Yes. We welcome many different professions on the patrol. We require successful completion of the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course which provides you with the skills you will need to assist injured guests.

How do I become a member of the ski patrol?

Just fill out the online application on this web site and we will be in touch!

What is the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course I have to take to become a Pinehurst patroller?

Outdoor Emergency Care is the NSP’s award-winning training program for patrollers and others in the recreation community who deal with emergency situations. This nationally recognized program is designed to help you manage the toughest emergencies, in all seasons. Developed in the late 1980s by the National Ski Patrol, Outdoor Emergency Care is a training program that is tailored to the nonurban rescuer. Over the years, OEC has evolved to address the needs of other outdoor-based emergency care providers too, including wilderness medical technicians, river rafting and mountaineering guides, members of search and rescue groups, mountain bike patrollers, and parks and recreation employees. Today, OEC is considered the standard of training for emergency care in the outdoor environment and is recognized by resorts and recreational facilities in all 50 states. To master the OEC objectives, a candidate typically needs to devote 80 to 100 hours of class and study time to the course.

Do I have to be an expert skier/rider to join the Pinehurst Ski Patrol?

Ideally, we are looking for people who have at least an intermediate skiing or riding skill level, but we allow all levels of skiing/riding experience.  If you are not ready to operate a rescue toboggan at the end of your candidate program, you will be registered as an auxiliary patroller.  You can obtain the Alpine Patroller classification anytime you are ready.

While you don't have to perform skiing/riding skills at an expert level, you do need to be certified as an Outdoor Emergency Care technician, regardless of your medical training.

Do ski patrollers get to ski for free?

Every ski area has different policies.  We ski free at our own area.  Generally, other ski areas do not grant privileges to non-area patrollers unless they have made special arrangements.

I am an healthcare worker. Can I skip the first aid part of the training?

The Pinehurst Ski Patrol encourages EMTs (all levels), nurses, physicians and other healthcare workers to apply for Ski Patrol membership.  Because of our rescue, transport, and emergency care protocols, our methods and techniques are significantly different from those with which you may already be familiar, so we strongly encourage you to attend the Outdoor Emergency Care course.  While we will consider requests to challenge (skip) this course, we do not encourage them.  Our instructors can help develop a flexible attendance schedule for those subjects with which you are already familiar.

What are the costs of ski patrolling?

All patrollers pay national, division, and regional dues on an annual basis.  Patrollers are also responsible for acquiring their own ski/snowboard equipment, clothing, parkas, and first aid packs.  Candidates will have various course fees for training.

What are the benefits of becoming a patroller?

·       Camaraderie with other patrollers who have an interest in helping others and a love of the outdoors and winter sports;

·        Preferred pricing on ski or outdoor related products offered by NSP official suppliers and ski equipment manufacturers;

·       Benefits extended to patrollers of Pinehurst Ski Area currently include:

a.       Free lift tickets

b.      Family season passes after a time period;

c.       The personal satisfaction of selflessly assisting others who are in dire need;

d.      Increased self-confidence and independence in the face of emergency situations;

e.       Valuable training in techniques of emergency management;

f.        Membership in a nationally recognized organization - the National Ski Patrol;

g.       Free subscription to Ski Patrol Magazine

What does a Pinehurst ski patroller do during a normal shift?

The Pinehurst Ski Patrol is responsible for opening the ski hill each day.  This is a time to prepare toboggans for easy access, watch for hill hazards, and notify management of any equipment issues that may have been found.  During ski area operational hours, patrollers are expected to cover the slopes and watch for skiers/riders in need of assistance and provide emergency care when needed.  Shifts at the end of the ski area operational time period are responsible for closing the lifts, putting equipment away, and 'sweeping' the hill - being the last off the hill while checking for downed skiers in closed areas.

How old do I have to be to join the patrol?

Because of the extensive OEC course requirements, we at Pinehurst generally do not accept high school students as candidates for ski patrol. Taking OEC along with high school work – or any work for that matter – can be overwhelming. We do, however, make exceptions for the children of current patrollers. We do this because the patroller parent, through personal experience, fully understands the maturity level and time commitment required for successful completion of OEC. As a local policy, candidates must be 18 years of age.